TYPES OF SILK
Silk fabric, also known as ‘Paat’ in East India, Pattu in South India and Resham in North India, is a natural fiber produced from the cocoons of mulberry silkworm via a process called Sericulture. The yarns produced from the process of sericulture are used to weave a variety of textiles. The fabric has a shimmering appearance, though has interrupting patterns of weave due to its natural fibre. The triangular prism-like structure allows the fabric to refract the lights, hence producing various colors in different lighting.
A fabric that is soft, sensuous and screams tenderness, the Angora silk yarn is made up of the world’s softest thread. It comes from the meek ‘Angora’ rabbit. These rabbits have been used to harvest the Angora silk yarn for hundreds of years, with the origin of this yarn being in Turkey. It has prevailed over the fashion world with its softness in appeal and distinctness in quality.
Art silk is short for artificial silk. It is manufactured by a synthetic fiber like Rayon that very much resembles the silk fiber; however, costs a lot less on the front of manufacture and production. Ethnic attires like Art Silk Sarees, Salwar Kameez, and Lehengas are made with art silk to keep the cost economical.
Woven on a pit loom, Bomkai, which is also known as Sonepuri, is an extraordinary fabric that results from the confluence of two extremely popular components of the Orissa textile industry. In its simplest, Bomkai can be explained as an extra weft technique on a pit loom. It is an outcome of Ikat and embroidery interwoven into each other.
Bangalore Silk is known for its simplicity, purity, and texture of Silk, which is meticulously produced in the silk farms of Bangalore, Karnataka. These farms have existed for several years and have progressed immensely with the passage of time and renovations in the textile industries.
The finest texture of Silk springing out from the essence of nature and known as the ‘Queen of all fabrics’, Bhagalpuri Silk is very well known for its unique and striking resilience and superior quality. This intrinsic artwork showcases the original essence of Bhagalpur in its purest and flawless form. It is filled with every slice of Indian cultural aspects which are drawn from the intricacies of the natural surroundings and which are symbolic in its own form.
Chanderi is a traditional ethnic fabric characterized by its lightweight, sheer texture and fine luxurious feel. Chanderi fabric is produced by weaving in silk and golden Zari in the traditional cotton yarn that result in the creation of the shimmering texture. The fabric borrowed its name from the small town Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh where traditional weavers practice the art of producing textured sarees in cotton and silk decorated with fine zari work.
Cot Silk is a combination of two widely used fabrics – Cotton and Silk. Hence, tuning the positives of both the fabric into one, defines Cot Silk. Belonging to no single tradition, this hybrid fabric has been accepted widely across the world. It is definitely a cheaper version of Silk but, a more popular fabric than pure Silk itself.
Spreading out its essence from the enriched land of Andhra Pradesh, this ethnic Silk has imprinted a long lasting statement style with its heavy colored borders which are accompanied by shaded pallus which enhance the intrinsically woven golden borders. This embroidered fabric is also considered to be ‘The’ sari for the ‘bride’. Etched with traditional beauty and royalty, Dharmavaram silk saris have made it big and are renowned within the family of Silk, as well as in the fashion world.
While it is majorly found in the North East of India, Eri is also known as Errandi and Endi Silk. The word ‘Eri’ is inspired from the Assamese word ‘era’ which means castor. The silk worms that produce Eri silk feed on castor plants, hence deriving the name ‘Eri’. Eri Silk is one of the purest forms of Silk that is a true and genuine product of the Samia Cynthia ricini worm.
Garad silk is one of the popular styles of saree that has its origin in West Bengal. Also known as Gorod, the word Garad means ‘White’. Garad silk sarees are distinguished by its red border and small paisley motifs. Silk fabric used to weave Garad sarees is not dyed which keeps the purity factor of the fabric intact and therefore these sarees have a sacred importance to the women in Bengal.
Jamdani, a word of Persian origin, is a combination of the words ‘Jam’ and ‘Dani’ meaning flower and vase respectively. This weave done by loom on brocade is a time-consuming process and is a blend of figures and floral motifs. Jamdani also known as muslin cloth has a weave of the typical gray and white, and sometimes a mixture of cotton and gold thread.
Kosa silk is obtained from an Indian silkworm – Antheraea mylitta and is a variety of Tussar silk. It is drawn out of cocoons which are especially grown on specific trees known as Arjun, Saja and Sal. Kosa silk is known for its sturdiness and is preferred to pure silk in the state of Chhattisgarh. Known for its dull golden brownish look, it is available naturally in shades of pale golden, dark honey, orange, fawn, cream and many more; all similar to the description of dull golden brown.
Silk is considered to be one of the most luxurious fabrics and is also extremely versatile as it can be successfully incorporated into any look. Katan silk is a type of silk that is created by twisting together filaments to create a sturdier and more durable fabric. Due to the nature of its creation, it also makes an interesting textured background for any work that is to be done on the fabric to make it unique. Katan silk is one of the most easily identified fabrics as it has a unique look that helps it stand out from other forms of silk.
Matka Silk is a rough handloom silk fabric made from the waste Mulberry Silk (Bombyx Mori) without removing its gum (sericin) part. It is largely obtained from the states of Karnataka and Kashmir but its spinning is done in the Malda and Murshidabad districts in West Bengal. Sujapur village in West Bengal, Islampur village in Bangladesh and Dariapur village in Gujarat are some of the well known Matka silk producing villages.
One of the rarest Silks in the world is the Muga silk from Assam. It is produced only in Assam and nowhere else. The fact that sets this Silk apart from all other versions is that it is totally golden yellow in color. The word `Muga’ means yellowish in Assamese. Most importantly, while it has got a naturally golden luster and does not need any dyeing to be done, it is still quite compatible with most dyes.
Mulberry silk is one of the most renowned and popular forms of Silk, particularly when it comes to textiles. Originated from the era of Indus Valley Civilization, it is one of the exquisite silk used in textiles. The cocoons sole source of food is the white Mulberry plant, which results in their white or off white color.
Silk is something that can add that extra bit of elegance and spark to any attire, whether traditional Indian or western. Silks have been made in India for centuries and their weaving varies from state to state, thus adding a new element to the texture, patterns, and style. Murshidabad also has a Center of Sericulture Research and Training Institute, along with various NGOs that assist the silk weavers and rearer, to produce optimally and thus uplift this cottage industry.
Mysore Silk Crepe
The Mysore silk crepe is woven from hard-spun silk yarn and is one of the most widely used form of silk across India. The Mysore silk comes from the city of Mysore in Karnataka, India. The earliest mentions of the silken crepe fabric can be traced back to 1785 AD. This was the time when the first silk cocoons where imported to Mysore. It was Tipu Sultan, a great Indian warrior, who in the pursuit of making Mysore a great land first imported cocoons of silk from China. During Tipu Sultan’s regime, sericulture was formally introduced to Mysore. Thereafter, sericulture became one of the most important industries of Karnataka.
Pat Silk or Paat Silk
Pat Silk (also known as Paat Silk) originates from Assam – where silk producing industry is established for three major silks of the east – Muga Silk, Pat Silk and Eri Silk. Usually comes in brilliant white or off-white shades, Pat Silk fabric is derived from Mulberry Silkworms and is known for its distinctive brightness, high quality and durable nature, hence also known as Mulberry Silk.
Raw silk, which is popularly known as ‘Paat’ in Eastern India, ‘Resham’ in Urdu and Hindu dialect, and ‘Pattu’ in the southern pockets of India, is the most natural form of delicate fiber which can get easily and smoothly woven into different fabrics and garments. The best of larvae obtained from the cocoons of the silk producing worms and insects weave in together to form the finest and the most delicate form of texture, which has never faded in its popularity through the decades.
Tussar Silk, also often referred to as ‘Wild Silk or Tusar Silk is an exquisite thread obtained from a wide winged moth that is yellowish-brown in colour. The scientific name of these moths is Antheraea Paphia and they are a part of the group known as Emperor Moths or Saturnids. These moths are a true wonder of nature. Their wings are embellished by circular markings that look like a mirror. Indeed, when you look closely into those circular markings, you’ll be able to see a reflection of yourself.
Uppada Silk is named after a small beach town of Uppada in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Also known as Uppada Pattu (Silk in Telugu), Uppada Silk sarees are made from the age old Jamdani method. Known for the unique designs in them, Uppada sarees are usually made with Cotton warp. Using only non-mechanical techniques, Uppada Silk sarees are defined by the length and breadth count of threads. The artisans also use a lot of zari work in the exquisite designs of Uppada Silk sarees.